Saraki’s trial: Nigeria Labour Congress, civic groups advise Senate not to amend anti-corruption law

Senate President, Bukola Saraki
Senate President, Bukola Saraki

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has c alled on the Nigerian Senate to jettison its ongoing effort to change the country’s anti-corruption laws.

A civil society group, Transition Monitoring Group, also pushed a similar position.

In separate statements released on Sunday, the groups said even though the National Assembly has the constitutional duty to amend laws, they found it suspicious that lawmakers were trying to amend the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal Act as well as the Administration of Criminal Justice Act at a time the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, was facing criminal prosecution.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in calling on the National Assembly to end further deliberation on the controversial bills, said: “We at the Nigeria Labour Congress hold the view that the noble intention of the Senate notwithstanding, the timing is suspect and fraught with danger.”

“It is quite intriguing that it took the trial of the Senate President for the Senate to discover these flaws in the law(s). Putting it bluntly, in spite of the spirited defences by the Deputy Senate President to the contrary , not a few believe that this legislative move is a desperate attempt to scuttle the trial of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, at CCT,” he said.

The TMG in a statement signed by its chairman, Ibrahim Zikirullahi, called on Nigerians to resist alleged criminalisation of the legislature by Mr. Saraki.

“While it is true that the legislature is empowered by the 1999 Constitution as amended to make laws for the good governance of the nation, it is immoral and unacceptable to deploy legislative powers to further personal ends.

“As far as we are concerned, Saraki’s trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) is his personal business. It is therefore a vexatious affront on the sensibilities of the Nigerian people that the weight of the entire legislature would be brought to bear in this disturbing attempt at giving him political rehabilitation. TMG frowns at this gangster approach to legislative business. While we commend the symbolic gesture of those legislators who have tried to distance themselves from this show of shame, we call on all members of the National Assembly, who still have any iota of credibility and good conscience to step up the pressure by teaming up with all pro-people forces, to end this charade.

“In the face of this desecration of the legislature as an institution by Saraki and his co-travellers, we call on the Nigerian people not to remain ambivalent. This is the time for the long suffering people of Nigeria to raise their voices.”
In its reaction, the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, urged Nigerians to rise and resist attempts by the Senate to scuttle Mr. Saraki’s trial through the current amendment process.

The Executive Director of ANEEJ, David Ugolor, said coming shortly after the recent failed attempt at the Federal High Court and the Supreme Court to stop the trial, the amendment amounted to abuse of court process.

Apart from the false asset declaration, Mr. Ugolor said, Mr. Saraki had also been fingered in the recent Panama Papers leak among Nigerians in high places operating subsidiary companies in tax havens like Panama and Jersey.

“ANEEJ, as well as every Nigerian, calls to question the timing of these Bills, and urges Nigerians to resist these bills. These suspicious and shambolic Bills were procured after Dr Saraki allegedly purchased and distributed 36 Land cruiser V8-Engine SUVs and distributed to senators who facilitated them,” Mr. Ugolor said.

A Lagos-based lawyer, Liborus Oshoma, has also advised the National Assembly to desist from making laws that would rubbish its reputation.

“The intent of this bill may good for the plurality of Nigerians at the long run, but it’s coming at a suspicious moment and I will urge the National Assembly to abandon it for now,” Mr. Oshoma said.

The National Assembly has remained at the receiving end of a renewed public outrage since Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP-Delta State) moved a motion last week to amend the CCT and CCT Act which guides conduct of public office holders.

Many Nigerians argued that the lawmakers are trying to change the law to save one of their own, Mr. Saraki, who has been standing trial for alleged false asset declaration since September 2015.

The Senate has, however, said the amendment was necessary, as it would give all public officers coming before the tribunal a fair hearing, justice and equity, in line with Section 36[2] [a] of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The amendment, the lawmakers pointed out, would remove the two government agencies, which play a critical role in the administration of criminal justice system in the country, from political control.

Since the commencement of the process, the Senate has fast-tracked the amendment of the Acts through the first and second readings within 48 hours.

While speaking during debate on the Senate floor, Biodun Olujimi (PDP-Ekiti State) said, “If you don’t assist your neighbour when his house is burning, it will extend to yours.”


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  • Arabakpura

    Can anything good really come out of Ekiti state?

    • Paul Graham

      FEMI FALANA IS FROM EKITI STATE AND HE IS A GOOD MAN!

      • Arabakpura

        OK, one person but like Sodom and Gomorrah, we need like ten of them to say that good things can come out of that place!

        • Paul Graham

          There are countless good people from Ekiti State. I mentioned Femi Falana because Femi Falana and King Sunny Ade came to my rescue when late Christiana Igbokwe tried to outsmart me in a program i initiated for Nigeria!
          It takes a good man to stop evil.

          • Arabakpura

            It must be that the bad ones are overshadowing the good ones; too bad!

          • Paul Graham

            Yeah! It’s a case of one bad apple.

        • Julius

          You are a moron. What good thing that has ever come out of your hell hole you call home and tribe ? Do you have anybody close to Falana ?

          • Arabakpura

            Let me know if you are from Ekiti, then I will add you! At this point, it does not matter if the person is a Moron or not! Good people cannot be available there and you have their brother parading naked in the whole country!
            You can insult me only two more times as you have taken your first slot!

  • Paul Graham

    Thank God Nigerians are up against less honorable legislative enterprise!

  • agbobu

    AND YOU PETER NWABOSHI UNBELIEVABLE! SHOCKING!! ‘NA WA OH!!!’ CAN THIS BE TRUE AND WAS THIS
    WHAT THE PDP, UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OFGOODLUCK JONATHAN TURNED NIGERIA
    INTO? IF SUCH STORIES OF TRUE, THEN NIGERIA IS IN A VERY GRAVE CRISES.
    THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION OF PRESIDENT BUHARI MUST ACT VERY FAST,
    EXPOSE THESE THIEVES, HAME THEM, PROSECUTE THEM AND IF THEY ARE FOUND
    GUILTY, AFTER VERY DUE AND VERY DILIGENT LEGAL PROCESSES, THEY MUST BE
    VERY SEVERELY PUNISHED. ANYTHING SHORT OF THIS IS VERY UNACCEPTABLE
    AND NOT AN OPTION. PRESIDENT BUHARI MUST NOT BE BLACKMAILED BY THE PDP,
    THAT HE IS ONLY GOING AFTER THE MEMBERS OF THE PDP. IF IN THE PROCESS
    SOME MEMBERS OF THE APC OR GOVERNMENT ARE FOUND TO BE INVOLVED, IN THESE
    VERY SHAMELESS AND DISGRACEFUL ACTS, THEY MUST SUFFER THE SAME FAITH. I
    FEEL SO BAD WITHTHIS ARTICLE, BECAUSE 27 MARINE ROAD WAS A PLACE I HAVE
    AND CALEDD MY HOME AND OFFICES FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS. FOR ANY PERSON
    OR GROUP OF PERSONS, TO STEAL THIS CHOICE PROPERTY, FROM THE PEOPLE OF
    NIGERIA AND ESPECIALLY THE PEOPLE OPF DELTA STATE, IS A VERY DIRTY SLAP
    AND ANI NSULT ON NIGERIANS AND MY PERSON. THESE PLACEBO POLITITIANS MUST
    HANGTHEIR HEADS IN VERY PERMANENT SHAME. THEY ARE A GANG OF ROBBERS AND
    THIEVES AND I WEEP FOR NIGERIA

  • gboyegaa

    The president should simply veto the amendment and not sign it into law until we have the right people in place that will re-amend the amended bill.
    Thieves, rogues and vagabonds have taken over the Nigerian senate now.

    • Wole A. Oshilaja

      @disqus_7dWdjjxycA:disqus

      This is one of the reasons Nigeria has regressed rather than developed. The APC party exemplifies that mental tragedy the most. The idea that rule of thumb is always to be preferred is the bane of APC and now the bane of Nigeria. Nowhere in history has rule of thumb brought an inch of sustainable development. The word ‘sustainable’ means organized knowledge. The unthinking APC creatures will usually scoff at that; but now, see the result of their “commonsense revolution” in Nigeria today, with total failure across the board – from zero electricity supply to zero petrol supply. APC does not usually think. APC just leaps without thinking thereafter. That’s why APC can’t organize any Board of Trustees or run its own internal affairs sensibly. The APC faces a major split anytime soon, because APC is a disguised autocracy.

      APC creates a rule but only for the moment and for the selfish purpose of a few apparatchiks. When the same rule is invoked as precedent or principle at other times, the same APC apparatchiks scream havoc if they don’t stand to gain. In effect, no rule guides APC as a party of anything goes. The Bukola Saraki case is another example. When past Speaker TAMBUWAL defected from PDP to the APC and insisted on remaining Speaker, the APC apparatchiks clapped for what they described as fantastic democracy. Now that Ikeremadu of PDP won the Deputy Senate President seat under an APC government, the same APC apparatchiks scream havoc, saying the land has been desecrated. A party lacking in fidelity to principles, like APC, cannot last. APC thrives on lies and deceit and naturally progress into wholesale looting, because inveterate liars are usually incorrigible thieves.

      • muazu wali

        You are entitled to your opinion. However millions of Nigerians see the same thing differently.

  • Godwin

    @Wole A Oshilaja that is not your true name, u are just masquerade as a Yoruba man but instead an IBO man. True must be told that under PDP Nigerian is just leaving a fake life waiting for a time like to explode. If u are a true Nigerian even GEJ has this 2015 election what we are experiencing could have been worded than this situation. PDP has really messed up this country under GEJ but with God PMB will sun get it right.

  • Eleme Pikin

    @disqus_vyQbHkW5Uq:disqus

    But it is a long time I heard the words ‘SAI BABA’. What happened? I am wondering. Nobody in Nigeria
    is saying SAI BABA again? Or has Nigeria done another election and elected a woman president?
    Even if that is the case why are Nigerians not shouting SAI MAMA? I want to see Nigeria as a
    happy country. There must be no bad mood. If the darkness in Nigeria persists, SAI BABA,
    Hahahahaha! Fools die! They want CHANGE but they depend on a drop-out.

    • eddy

      And when ur dimwit PHD holder was there what did he do but create the mess the so called drop out is trying to clean up now?

  • Dazmillion

    The fire Saraki and his boys want to ignite will consume them all. Let them ride on

  • favourtalk

    He won’t go through with this one, Saraki and his gangs of corrupt thieves will not live through this. They will be properly dealt with

  • David Adeniran

    When the clay god wants to suffer an open disgrace end its existence, he would insist that his worshippers should bath him in the river! Every sane person can easily predict the consequences of such an exercise. So please let Saraki and his band of vagabonds be. They can not just resist the SHAME AND DISTRCUTION that are awaiting them!

    • time for buhari to go is now

      Yorubas are gradually destroying all that Awo struggled to erect for our Nascent democracy—-Buhari should never by the type of monster to control the affairs of CCT—how can the chiarman of CCT Umar, who is under investigation by efcc for corruption, be the one to be sent by Buhari to investigate Saraki———————-When the case of corruption against Saraki was raised by d government of Jonathan–the Apes in APC described it then as a witch-hunt–The contrived to take Saraki on a tour of London with them to meet Tony Blair-now nko?

  • time for buhari to go is now

    Why are the Apes in APC scared of the amendment to the fake Obasanjo contrived evil body now under the control of Gestapos like Efcc and DSS–Only a mental case would refuse to support the Senate–and I am sure they will never be cowed into submission by the demonic government of Buhari—Are we saying the Satanic government of Buhari ati the Apes in APC should be in control of CCT-? With Buhari acting like a Cow in a china shop?—In nigeria we know what that—Buhari should be made to have respect for the Rule of Law—–by these government sponsored Luciferic agencies—the era of using the media to twist the brain of Nigerians is over and done with—we are all shining our eyes against the Fulani marauders in aso rock-

    • Mr T

      Why are you so bitter about this anti-corruption war? Is your father or mother in effcc net already? Do your family survive on corruption? I just want to know your source of bitterness.